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XML Document formats

Just read on news.com that microsoft is giving the xml schema for its word documents. OpenOffice uses its own xml format to store documents. So I'm wondering why invent a new format/schema when we already have HTML/XHTML? One disadvantage I see with HTML is that images have to be in separate files. Apart from this, whats wrong with them?

Nathan Arun
Monday, December 01, 2003

There is also the DocBook XML format, for documentation.
I have been following the discussions around DocBook on the maillist since the beginning of 2000.
It has promise, it is better than XHTML, but it is for documentation people that do not need, or *want*, WYSIWYG.
This is not only an open source thing. People using the different classes of paragraphs etc in Word knows what I am talking about.
You have total control of how things are divided.

The tools are usable, but in some way still lacking.
There are however commercial tools.

http://www.docbook.org/

Fredrik Svensson
Monday, December 01, 2003

HTML is about web pages. Word is about printed pages on paper. HTML sucks for print layout, and by the time you modified it enough to make it work for print layout, it isn't HTML anymore.

Add to that all the stuff Word does that HTML doesn't (revision tracking, equations, footnotes, comments, etc.) it just made sense to roll their own format.

Chris Tavares
Monday, December 01, 2003

When I said HTML, I included CSS using which a document can very well made to be printable.

Agreed, equations, header/footers cannot be represented in HTML. I also wanted to ask, why didnt anyone - big companies or even the openoffice guys - try to extend/improve HTML to include these features?

Nathan Arun
Monday, December 01, 2003

Go into Word, and save a document as HTML. Have a look at the resultant mess. I think that is what you're after. :)

Steve P
Monday, December 01, 2003

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